Wednesday, September 18, 2013

From Ian:

Historic Pro-Judea and Samaria Conference at EU
A historic conference in support of the Jewish settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria took place Tuesday inside one of the bastions of opposition to the Jewish presence in the region – the European Parliament.
The conference was organized by the Deputy Chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Dr. Fiorello Provera of Italy, who became a supporter of the Jewish communities after touring Samaria (Shomron), and by senior MEP Bastiaan Belder of Holland, who has also become a friend of Samaria in recent years.
US pans Arab push to single out Israel for alleged nuclear arsenal
The United States said on Tuesday an Arab push to single out Israel for criticism over its assumed nuclear arsenal would hurt diplomatic efforts to ban weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
Frustrated over the postponement of an international conference on ridding the region of atomic arms, Arab states have proposed a resolution at a UN nuclear agency meeting expressing concern about "Israeli nuclear capabilities".
The non-binding text submitted for the first time since 2010 to this week's member meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency calls on Israel to join a global anti-nuclear weapons pact and place its atomic facilities under IAEA monitoring.
Israel is widely believed to possess the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, drawing frequent Arab and Iranian condemnation. It has never acknowledged having atomic weapons.
Joe Biden to address J Street conference
Biden is not the only representative of the administration to come to talk up the current peace talks in front of what is considered to be a receptive audience. Martin Indyk, the US special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, will also address the conference, serving as the keynote speaker for the gala dinner to be held on the same day as Biden’s address.
J Street has repeatedly emphasized that it views this year’s conference as unprecedented in the number and diversity of its participants, among whom are a number of members of Congress as well as representatives of six Knesset parties.
Hamas To Produce Film on Gilad Shalit Kidnapping
According to a report from Mohammed Al-Ar'ir of the ministry of culture, the Hamas movement has allocated $100, 000 to produce the film, set to take place in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The film will be produced by Al-Wataniya, a local media company.
The movie will not focus on or reveal any new details about how Hamas held Shalit for more than five years in Gaza since his capture in 2006. Rather, it will focus on "violent resistance," which Hamas says is "the best option and only hope to free Palestinian lands and over 8,000 Palestinian prisoners still captive in the Israeli occupier's prisons."
After 6-Week Suspension From Party, UK MP David Ward Resumes Anti-Israel Tweeting
Following a six-week suspension from his party for remarks deemed insensitive to Jews and the Jewish state, it took UK Liberal Democrat MP David Ward little time to resume his attacks against Israel after being restored to his position.
In a post to his Twitter account on Tuesday, MP Ward wrote that he was “looking forward” to a Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel’s conference event “on hideous weapons used by Israel in Gaza.”
The Tweet was taken down seconds later and replaced with the more impartial: “Looking forward to #LDFI event tonight on use of sensitive language.”
BBC removes claim of ‘pre-emptive’ Yom Kippur strike
On September 15th we highlighted the fact that the BBC’s ‘Learning Zone’ website – a resource for teachers – claimed that Egypt and Syria “acted pre-emptively” when they launched the surprise attacks which began the Yom Kippur war forty years ago.
Via the JTA we learn that the erroneous claim has been removed from the website after the JTA approached the BBC’s Head of Communications.
Mubarak: ‘I started the Yom Kippur War’
Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak says he personally started the Yom Kippur War in October, 1973, by attacking an Israeli communications base in his fighter jet six minutes before the rest of the Arab armies’ surprise attack on the Jewish state began.
In most accounts, the war began at 2:00 pm on October 6, when at least 200 Egyptian fighter planes simultaneously hit three Israeli airbases, Israel’s missile batteries, command centers, numerous artillery positions, and radar installations, to devastating effect.
Have your say: the BBC Trust wants to know what you think
The consultation will run from September 16th to December 13th 2013 and there are various ways to take part. It covers television and radio programmes available in the UK as well as BBC Online and social media – in other words, the consultation does not include the BBC World Service.
An opportunity definitely not to be wasted.
BBC WS ‘Fifth Floor’ version of the 1993 Rabin-Arafat handshake
Issam Ikirmawi: “Yes. There was a big rumour at the time that Arafat was told by American officials that under no circumstances should he attempt to kiss Rabin or kiss anyone.”
DA: “What was the protocol – the reasoning behind that protocol though – that American officials would say that?”
II: “But I mean in the West it’s not customary for men to kiss when they meet each other, while in the Middle East they do, and Arafat was renowned for his fondness of kissing people when he meets them.”
Of course Ikirmawi’s suggestion that American officials sought to protect Rabin’s ‘Western’ sensibilities from Arafat’s ‘Middle Eastern’ customs conceals the fact that Jerusalem-born Rabin was no less Middle Eastern than Cairo-born Arafat. But it also plays into pernicious stereotypes of ‘authentic’ Palestinians and ‘foreign’ Israelis.
Saudis use Hitler in action TV promo
A Saudi-owned TV network is taking flak for featuring Adolf Hitler in its ads to promote what it says is its action movie channel’s unbeatable September film lineup.
The Middle East Broadcasting Center, a Dubai-based and Saudi-owned television network, has aired ads which show snippets from the Quentin Tarantino movie Inglorious Basterds in order to push its latest and greatest films on offer. Arabic subtitles have Hitler’s character from the film laud MBC Action’s “September to Remember,” saying “they will control the entire region.”
It’s Time to Stop Whitewashing Tarek Loubani and John Greyson
“They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Cecilia Greyson, John’s sister, is quoted as saying. She has also claimed that their detention “is completely arbitrary.” A Global news article noted that both “have a history of supporting human rights in Gaza.”
What is not mentioned in these sanitized accounts is that Loubani has been a long-time member of the International Solidarity Movement, a radical pro-Palestinian activist group with ties to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The ISM, founded in 2001, calls itself a peace group but has avowed the necessity of violence and stated its belief that Israel is “an illegal entity that should not exist.” Loubani was arrested a decade ago for entering a military area in the West Bank and interfering with the work of Israeli soldiers, a key tactic of the ISM and precisely what got American Rachel Corrie (also an ISM member) accidentally killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003.
Facebook Under Fire for Allowing Hate Speech Against Jews to Proliferate Online
Facebook, Inc. came under fire on Tuesday for allowing hate speech against Jews to proliferate in its online community.
A group called “Remove Hate From FB” said the online site has gone far in blocking pages denigrating other minority groups, but attacks against Jews are allowed to linger online.
“Why is Facebook routinely and automatically removing hate group pages which target African Americans and the Gay Community, but when it comes to hate group pages that target Jews, they seem to turn an anti-Semitic blind eye?” asks organizer Michael Mendelson.
Remove Hate From FB has called for an”offline” protest at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, on October 14.
UK Prime Minister: Let Tottenham Hotspur Fans Call Themselves ‘Yids’
British Prime Minister David Cameron waded into a row involving fans of London football club Tottenham Hotspur and Britain’s ruling football body, the Football Association, with his own contention that fans should not be prosecuted for using the word ‘Yid’ in a non-threatening context.
“You have to think of the mens rea. There’s a difference between Spurs fans self-describing themselves as ‘Yids’ and someone calling someone a ‘Yid’ as an insult,” Cameron told the UK’s Jewish Chronicle.
“You have to be motivated by hate,” the prime minister said. “Hate speech should be prosecuted — but only when it’s motivated by hate.”
Palestinian Telecom Entrepreneur Pays $10.5 Million for Israel’s Alvarion
According to Israeli business website Calcalist, Alami is a Palestinian telecommunications entrepreneur who currently lives in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Alami has established a number of telecommunications companies — the most prominent being Coolnet, an Internet service provider (ISP) that operates high-speed Internet services.
“I don’t care whether Alvarion is an Israeli or a Palestinian company. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just business. I know the company. And I worked with it for long years. I am interested in running the company, and eager to bring it to success. As a native of Jerusalem, I can tell you that if each of us does his own share, as best he can, we may yet achieve peace,” he told Calcalist.
Britain’s opens in Tel Aviv
“The most important thing I’ve learned about Israeli talent is its fearlessness,” says Daniel Abrahams, co-founder of “It is no surprise to me that Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than all of Europe combined, and that it is startup capital of the world.”
This is why Abrahams, 26, has opened a branch of his London-based office in Tel Aviv.
It was a natural fit for the English entrepreneur, whose mother is Israeli.
“We came here as part of a talent-acquisition strategy,” he admits. “But then we fell in love with the atmosphere and spirit of the place – perfect for innovation and momentum.”
Teva forms R&D alliance with UK’s Cancer Research Technology
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and the UK’s Cancer Research Technology (CRT) have signed a multi-project alliance agreement to research and develop first-in-class cancer drugs that modulate DNA damage and repair response (DDR) processes in cancer cells.
DDR plays a key role in protecting cancer cells from the damaging effect of chemotherapy – creating an in-built antidote to the toxic effects of the anti-tumor drug. As the cancer cells that are best able to repair the DNA damage caused by the cancer treatments survive, they replicate, naturally selecting for the mutation with the enhanced repair capability – leading to recurrence and resistance to treatment.
Birds without borders: Diplomacy takes wing in the Middle East
For Yossi Leshem, the story is all too familiar: A white stork, tagged last month in Hungary for a migration study, was captured and turned over to police in Egypt after a journey of 3,700 kilometres.
The GPS transmitter on its back has aroused suspicions that it was being used for espionage.
The bird was finally released Sept. 2, after officials were assured it was not a foreign spy. Days later it was killed by a hunter.
In a region where political tensions and guns abound, the stork’s bizarre and abbreviated journey illustrates a massive problem faced by conservationists: how to protect the roughly half a billion birds that pass through the Middle East – many of them this month – while they fly from breeding grounds in Europe and Asia to winter havens in Africa.
Iran may send cat blasting into space
Iran’s hunt for its next animal astronaut may turn to the distinctive and locally named Persian cat, an official said Monday, in another possible step by the country’s ambitious aerospace program that has also raised Western concerns about spillover military applications. The report by the official IRNA news agency comes seven months after Iran claimed it launched a monkey out of earth’s atmosphere and successfully returned it home. The account, however, faced international questions after photos appeared to show different monkeys in pre- and post-launch images.
3 Yom Kippur War Heroes Whose Stories You’ve Never Heard
Every war has its heroes. When Syria and Egypt surprise attacked Israel on Yom Kippur 40 years ago today according to the Jewish calendar, it took a whole nation of heroes to push back the invading armies and snatch a miraculous victory. Here, we honor a few whose stories you have probably never heard.

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